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Plant Evolution in the Mediterranean$
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John D. Thompson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198515340

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198515340.001.0001

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Endemism, adaptation, and conservation

Endemism, adaptation, and conservation

(p.240) Conclusions: Endemism, adaptation, and conservation
Plant Evolution in the Mediterranean

John D. Thompson

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter reinterprets the main themes of the book in relation to the conservation of the ecological and evolutionary processes underlying the dynamics, persistence, and evolution of endemic species. The spatial scale of habitat heterogeneity; ecological interactions that regulate population viability; and spatial variability of demographic parameters and dispersal are key parameters. The need for a database which identifies sites of risk for endemic species, sites of risk for invasive species, and potential sites of future evolution in the native flora are suggested. The elaboration of a conservation policy based on evolutionary potential is argued, particularly for peripheral and marginal populations, which are not only of value for the persistence of Mediterranean endemic species, but also the divergence of new variants. Marginal populations are also those with a high risk of extinction. It is argued that the conservation of endemic species should be maintained as a priority to complement the effectiveness of measures taken at the scale of the habitat and the ecosystem.

Keywords:   conservation, ecological processes, endemism, landscape change

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